2008. november 24., hétfő

It's snowing!!!

It was so lovely how everyone stopped for a moment and all stared out the window in awe when someone shouted that during the Saturday class. The snow was a nice little touch to the class on sweets, which instantly put everyone in a good mood. :) Winter is finally here.

I was a bit tired Saturday since it was the first time I taught 2 classes back to back (hopefully my fatigue didn't show too much in the afternoon class...) so my husband and I decided to go out for dinner in the evening. When we returned and opened the door, the most delicious whiff of sweet & spicy smell welcomed us home! That and a smiling dog greeting us was the nicest thing to come home to. I wish I could bottle this scent and carry it with me as a reminder of a beautiful winter afternoon...

There were few questions during the classes that I didn't feel I answered fully - one regarding palm oil and another regarding sweeteners. 

Here's a bit on palm oil:
Palm oil is frequently confused with palm kernel oil, which is highly saturated. In contrast palm oil contains a balance of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. In addition palm oil contains essential substances such as linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid which the body cannot manufacture) and tocopherols and tocotrienols, which act as natural anti-oxidants against damaging free-radicals. Like other vegetable fats palm oil is free from cholesterol. Because palm oil is solid at room temperature there is no need to use hydrogenation, a technique which hardens liquid oil but also produces damaging trans fatty acids and raises cholesterol levels in the process. Human feeding studies have shown that palm oil does not ordinarily raise blood cholesterol levels and in some cases has been found to lower harmful LDL.

All of the sweeteners we used in the class (barley malt, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, evaporated cane sugar, tapioca syrup) are considered to be whole foods, therefore have nutritional values and break down in your body slower than simple sugars. Agave out of them all, are best for diabetics. But if you are on Candida diet, all of them including agave, will feed Candida but stevia(which we didn't use but is worth experimenting) will not.

One more thing about the difference between baking powder and soda you can find here. Hope this clarifies somewhat, though topic of fats and sugars is complicated enough to make my head spin sometimes...

And the Vegan Black Forest cake that turned out more like a brownie than a cake for the afternoon class - since dark brown sugar was added accidentally, it kept the extra moisture and caused it to have a bit of raw or chewy texture in the center. If you follow the recipe exactly as it is written, you should have a moist chocolate cake. For those who took the afternoon class, please give it another try at home and let me know how it went?

Next class is on easy holiday cooking. It will have meat as a main but with lots of veggies and grains so look forward to that!

Stay warm guys!

3 megjegyzés:

Judit írta...

szia Maki, I am Judit from the afternoon class. I also enjoyed a lot the cooking/baking and the snow on Saturday :) Your notes on the syrups are extremely useful, thanks a lot. However I have a few more questions: how can I `veganize` the normal receipes? I mean how should I transform for example the sugar measurements into syrup? One cup sugar equals one cup syrup? And what about the flour? One cup normal flour can be replaced with one cup whole-weat flour? Thanks a million!

Chef Maki írta...

Szia Judit,
Since vegan recipes don't have eggs, you will need to use baking powder and baking soda as leaveners. Just remember that soda requires some sort of acid and that once powder/soda is mixed into the batter, place in the oven as quickly as possible.
Some variations on egg replacers are here:

http://www.thecookinginn.com/eggsub.html

As for syrup conversions, it depends on which syrup you are replacing with since each has different dgeree of sweetness. You can find a sweetener conversion table at the bottom of this list. http://www.karenskitchen.com/a/ref_convert.htm

There's also some useful tips here as well
http://www.madhavasagave.com/SugarToAgaveConversion.aspx

As for flours, I use combination of whole flour and bio finom liszt. Be sure to sift before using.

Hope this helps!

Judit írta...

very helpful, thanks a lot! looking forward to checking the spring classes.